Summer’s practically here, and with that comes the end of the regular television schedule. Sure, you could go outside and enjoy the sunshine, but the real world can be exhausting. You need something fun to binge-watch in the TV offseason, and I’m here to tell you that Black Books is the show that you have been looking for. Plus, with only 18 short episodes, which could all be consumed over the course of a lazy weekend (it’s currently streaming on Hulu Plus). Hell, you could watch it in one day if you’re feeling particularly ambitious. I believe in you.
Black Books is a Channel 4 sitcom that ran for three seasons from 2000 through 2004, and it’s the brainchild of comedian Dylan Moran (who also stars) and Graham Linehan (The IT Crowd, Father Ted). The show focuses on Bernard Black (Moran), proprietor of the second-hand bookshop, Black Books, and all around bastard. If you like your protagonists to be misanthropic, alcoholic chain-smokers, Bernard is your man. Along for the ride is his best friend, Fran (Tamsin Greig), who owns the knick knack shop next door, and his new assistant, Manny (Bill Bailey). Black Books is like Seinfeld‘s weird British cousin: these characters are terrible at their jobs, and sometimes terrible at being human beings. This is a show that revels in absurdity, with a simple joke usually escalating to ridiculous extremes by the end of the episode. There’s a lot to like in Black Books, and here are a few reasons why you should check it out.